Thoughts searching for the essence of everything.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The first book I read this summer was The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed it immensely; it was quite a page turner. I decided to finally read it because I had been listening to some cassettes Mr. Egan lent me about Harry Potter and the New Age movement which both referenced this book. The next book in line for me to read (i.e. after I finish the school list) is An Exorcist Tells His Story. I highly recommend The Screwtape Letters to everyone. They are not especially disturbing only enlightening. I came away with a better understanding of temptation and how to recognize and avoid it.

Next I read Dubliners by James Joyce. Although I find Joyce's philosophy erroneous and his themes concentrated too much on the fallen nature of man rather than the power of redemption, I laud his style of writing which is almost like reading poetry. This book was an interesting collection of glimpses into the lives of various Irishmen. I have read one other book by James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. It started out very interestingly and I enjoyed it but then the main character spiralled downwards into the vice of lust, and there was no resolution to the story. So although the style of writing was captivating, the story was a disappointment. I wouldn't particularly recommend this book other than for reasons of discussion and debate.

Currently I am reading Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is a required book to read over the summer for my Classical Civilization Class. I'm on page 100 out of 579 pages. It is set in the time of Nero and follows the story of Ligia, a young Christian. The story is very captivating and the book is hard to put down each time I read it. I highly recommend this book.


Larry said...

Tom loves the Screwtape Letters. I have not read it yet but plan on reading it before the summer is up. I have already read Till We Have Faces. It is very good. I enjoyed it imensly.

David, (my brother,) does not agree about Quo Vadis. He is only on page 60 or so.

Juli said...

The books you guys are reading this summer sound so cool!! I really want to read them sometime too......but I'm still stuck up on my own required summer reading....and I only have three books! AHH!

Penelope said...

What do you have to read?

Juli said...

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

That's not really that bad at all, except that I have to do analyses on all three plus a paper on Wuthering Heights. And I haven't even finished the first book. Oi. So much for pleasure reading this summer!

Penelope said...

Well I've read two of those (although technically I didn't finish Wuthering Heights). Catch 22 is a bit like a string of stories that convey an overall theme. Dubliners is also a string of stories but they are not connected the way the stories in Catch 22 are. Catch 22 references a ton of poems and books so it can be very entertaining. Remeber when I memorized the poem Miniveer Cheevy? Probably not. Well it is used as an extended metaphor for an entire chapter! Exciting I know. The chapter is "Major Major." I pity Major Major just like I pitied Miniveer. Anyway, I enjoyed that books witicisms but is overall theme is un-Catholic.

Larry said...

Is it un-Catholic or anti-Catholic? I guess what I mean is it against Catholism, or is the theme just not what is taught by the Catholic Church.

Penelope said...

It's just un-catholic.

Aquilifer said...

I would not say that I loved the screwtape letters but I did find them interesting for the same reasons that you mentioned. So is the Dubliners have a similar story to the portrait? curious b/c it sounds like it.

So far this summer I have nothing required to read but I have read, Screwtape Letters; Guns, Freedom, and Terrorism; Fatherless (excellent, I highly recommend it. I couldn't put it down, although be warned that it is over 500 pgs); The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond (Chesterton); and currrently I am working on a collection of Hawthorne short stories.

Penelope said...

those all sound interesting.

The Dubliners is written much in the same style as The portrait of an artist and has many of the same themes but it is a collection of stories rather than one story. and it is much shorter